Dedication to a noble and valiant purpose, is not likely your primary challenge. The first and greatest challenge we face is finding such a purpose. For a few lucky souls, their purpose is clear since childhood. For example, at the age of eleven, multiple gold-olympian Michael Phelps said, “I want to break a world record.” And many he did. For others, an event or milestone is the catalyst to finding purpose. Consider the story of Candace Lightner, who founded MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) after a drunk driver killed her 13-year-old daughter.
This article provides a few thoughts and considerations on the subject of purpose.
It’s okay to be humble.
Many of us believe that for our purpose to be noble, it must be grandeur, perhaps even epic. It’s noble and courageous to dedicate yourself to colonizing Mars;* as long as you believe this is your calling. Such a grandeuous purpose, however, is no more significant than dedicating yourself to help granny live her best twilight years. When it comes to purpose, we must ask ourself: Is it for me, or is it for a greater good? The former can be exciting, exhilarating, and tantalizing. The latter will keep you going, even in the darkest times. Why? Simply, deep inside we are hardwired to push further for others than we are for ourselves.
Passion is about.
“I am so passionate about ____”
Purpose is to and for.
“I must do ____. I was put here to accomplish ____.
I am willing to endure ____ for the sake of ____.”
Actually, purpose deemphasizes the I.
Purpose is about pursuing something outside yourself as opposed to pleasuring yourself.
From Ego Is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday
Need not overthink. It’s normal to change and evolve your purpose over time. And while you’re searching for your ‘true’ purpose, you will benefit from adopting one of the examples below:
- Be the best version of yourself
- Be the best parent, you can be
- Be the best son/daughter, you can be
- Be kind and compassionate to others
- Teach, coach, and mentor others
- Generating wealth to care for others (for example, synagogue, church, mosque, hospital, school)
- Find your purpose (an excellent starter purpose)
- Support someone or organization with their purpose
Curious as to our purpose?
Read all about why we believe Raising I+C is the only game in town when it comes to a purpose worthy of our time.